My food allergy rant

On our way home from our Thanksgiving trip on Cape Cod, we stopped at Kemp Pottery to see if there was anything beautiful for sale. And there was. A serving bowl, which I'll receive as a Christmas gift in a few weeks, and two new mugs, perfect for a big cup of tea. We gave them to each other tonight.

Jeff and I talked about 'A's food allergies at church today and were overwhelmed by the love and compassion that so many people showed to us. Best of all (well, it's not actually a good thing in the grand scheme of things), we found out about a few people who have been dealing with life-threatening allergies for years and have successfully navigated the waters. Those are the people I want to connect with. They can show me the way.

I've been growing increasingly frustrated with life as a mother of a child with food allergies. This feeling isn't something I think about a lot, but sometimes it creeps up on me and catches me off guard. To put it most simply, the allergies 'A' deals with seem to be invisible to the rest of the world, but for our family, they define much of our life. Sometimes I feel like I live in a house of mirrors. My reality doesn't match up with how it looks from the outside. The things that many people take for granted aren't options for us. The way I spend each day - cooking from scratch, homeschooling my girls, socializing in non-food situations - is set up to work around 'A's allergies. As I write this, I feel like I'm whining. I don't need everyone in the world to be thinking about 'A's allergies every time she ventures out, but I do want a little more understanding and compassion.

Enough of the whining. After Thursday's trip to the emergency room, Jeff and I understand that we need to be more proactive in protecting our daughter. I wrote up a list of some of our new ground rules.

Rules for Dealing with Food Allergies

* No more snacks and meals at a table with other children who are eating dairy. Young children are energetic eaters and food ends up on or near other children's plates. Even that one tiny shred of cheese that ends up on her plate is enough to send her to into anaphylactic shock. Sitting at the same table is not an option.

* Speaking of eating at the table where cheese and milk are served, we're starting to wonder if there is a connection between 'A' irritated eyes and the presence of dairy. We're going to start documenting it to see if the connection is real.

* No more playing with children who have just eaten cheese, eggs or peanut butter if they haven't washed their hands and faces after eating.

* No more eating trusted foods without carefully reading the label each time.

* No more eating at restaurants and trusting their dishes, even when they say something doesn't have dairy, eggs or peanuts in it.

Those are enough rules for now. They are not negotiable. They're here to keep our daughter alive and safe.


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!